Rylands V Fletcher Case Study

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The rule in Ryland’s v Fletcher was established in the case Rylands v Fletcher [1868], decided by Blackburn J. In effect, it is a tort of strict liability “imposed upon a landowner who collects certain things on his land – a duty insurance against harm caused by their escape regardless of the owner’s fault”. The tort under the rule in Rylands v Fletcher is described as one of strict liability. This means that liability may be imposed on a party without finding of fault such as negligence. The plaintiff need only prove that the tort occurred. The facts of Rylands v Fletcher were that the plaintiff, Fletcher was mining coal with the permission of the land-owner. The defendants, Rylands and Horrocks, engaged some independent contractors to construct a reservoir to supply water to their mill. The contractors, negligently failed to discover that there were five disused mine shafts under the reservoir. When the reservoir was completed and partially filled with water one of these shafts burst and consequentially the plaintiff’s colliery was inundated with water and all work had to be suspended. The…show more content…
Subsequently, the act of a stranger and statutory authority have been added to the list. Consent of the plaintiff is a rule which means that the rule does not apply to the escape of things brought by the defendant onto his premises with the consent of the plaintiff where there has been no negligence on the part of the defendant. Consent can be expressed or implied. An example of the most common use of this defence is where there is an escape of water from an upper storey premises in the occupation of several tenants, for example the case of Victor Weston Ltd v Kenny. The defence of consent also extents to cases of common benefit. For example, where rain water is collected on the roof of a premises for the benefit of several of the occupants, strict liability will not be

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